1. Check a builder is in a trade body - the Federation of Master Builders, the Guild of Builders andContractors, or the National Federation of Builders;
  2. Ask for references and check them out;
  3. Ask about a builder’s experience and qualifications;
  4. Check whether the builder uses sub-contractors;
  5. Does the builder have insurance if something goes badly wrong?
  6. Always ask for a detailed quote, checking how long the price is guaranteed for;
  7. Draw up a contract if the work you require is substantial;
  8. Agree phases of work and stage-payments;
  9. Ask a council inspector to check the work meets building regulations;
  10. Keep a final payment until the work is complete and snags rectified.

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